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October 1998 Issue

President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

SBC LIFE Please tell us about your pilgrimage into Southern Baptist higher education and particularly to New Orleans.

Kelley Well, I have to say it is best described as a call from the Lord. I completed both master’s and doctoral degrees at New Orleans Baptist Seminary and the thought never crossed my mind that I would ever be involved in theological education after I finished. I had been in school for twenty-five consecutive years and was ready to be done and be about my full-time ministry.

But then God really began to work on my heart through two means. One was the work I did on my dissertation. It was on the changing role of the revival meeting in the Southern Baptist program of evangelism from 1946 through 1980. While researching that topic, I began to come to grips with the reality of the trouble Southern Baptists were having in reaching people for Christ. I had not really be...

The November elections are only weeks away. They provide the opportunity for God’s people, through their vote, to make a sweeping contribution to our government’s moral direction. Yet, if this year’s turnout among evangelicals mirror’s past years, the prospect for significant improvement looks dim indeed. Consider the voting record of those who claim to be members of evangelical churches. According to the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, on average less than half of all eligible voters among evangelicals have voted in the last three elections. At best, this reflects ignorance of God’s expectations in the civil arena. At worst, it reflects apathy or defiance.

When God’s people are silent at the polls we should not wonder at the immorality and corruption that so often characterizes our civil leaders. In light of such silence and civil immorality, we should consider God’s priority on His children’s participation in t...

A certain king once committed adultery.

This was a long time ago, when adultery was considered to be very wrong. The king had a general reputation for being religious. He wanted to be liked so he felt he should deny his affair publicly and take a few steps that would conceal his adultery. So, he told a lie here and there, and covered up his affair by killing his lover's husband and focused the nation on a number of border skirmishes that he was sure would distract the nation.

By and by, there came to the castle a friend of the king's, who was a storyteller. This storyteller told the king a very long story about a rich shepherd who stole a sheep from a poor shepherd, who only had one sheep. The rich shepherd barbecued the stolen animal and served it as a meal to his rich friends and the poor man lost the only sheep he had. The storyteller was apparently a very good one, for the king, upon hearing this tale, became incensed and ordered the rich shepherd to be severely punished....

The Manhattan Theatre Company (MTC) of New York, a recipient of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), has decided to produce a play depicting Christ as a homosexual who has sexual relations with his twelve disciples. According to published reports, the play, Corpus Christi, portrays the life of a Jesus who is crucified as the “King of Queers.” Terrence McNally, the play’s creator and a board member of the MTC, makes no effort to conceal his contempt for Christians by ending his draft with, “If we have offended, so be it. He belongs to us as well as to you.”

Newsweek magazine says 91 percent of women and 85 percent of men pray. Of course 100 percent of golfers pray on the putting green.

What is prayer? One little girl said it is messages sent up at night and on Sunday when the rates are low. Most times our prayers involve bailing us out of some mess — like the student who prayed, “God, either make Boston the capital of Vermont or lose my test paper.”

After a long and very difficult marriage, a woman told her husband, “I am praying God will help us by taking one of us to heaven. After He answers my prayer, I’m going to live with my sister.”

Children sometimes confuse prayers and adults make them too formal, especially at church. When the pastor steps up to the pulpit, he suddenly has a holy tone and talks with a stained glass voice. I like to hear new Christians pray because they haven’t learned the ritual. They say things like, “Hi God, this is Bob. Got your ears on?”...